GLENDALE — Kyle Murray went to the mound and did what he does best — get ahead in the count and trust his command.
The San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth All-Star pitcher couldn’t have asked for a better performance than the one that took place Friday night in an opening-round game of the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament.
Murray struck out seven and allowed one hit in five innings to spark San Gabriel Valley to a 6-0 victory against Central California San Bruno at Modesto Christian High.
Gary Acuna and KJ Edson each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for San Gabriel Valley, which will next participate in a winner’s-bracket game of the double-elimination tournament at 8 p.m. today at the same location.
Murray, a right-hander and one of four Crescenta Valley High players on the team, allowed just a third-inning hit.
“We got a run in the first and I felt like I could keep that lead,” Murray said. “I just went out there and tried to get ahead of everybody.
“I believed in my pitches. We have a good pitching staff and it gives us a great chance to win.”
Acuna pitched the sixth, striking out two. Edson went the seventh and also struck out a pair.
San Gabriel Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first on a home run by John Alexander. It extended the lead to 2-0 in the second on a run-scoring single by Andrew Medina that brought in Jonathan Larson.
San Gabriel Valley, which features five local players, scored four runs in the fifth to close out the scoring.
Nick Wagner had a run-scoring double to make it 3-0 and Alexander drove in a run with a single to extend the advantage to 4-0.
A groundout by Elliot Surrey of Crescenta Valley gave San Gabriel Valley a 5-0 lead. A San Bruno error made it 6-0.
San Gabriel Valley Coach Phil Torres, who also coaches at Crescenta Valley, said Murray’s effort on the mound and spotless defense buoyed San Gabriel Valley.
“Kyle pitched real well and he mixed his pitches up very well,” Torres said. "[San Bruno] didn’t threaten and we were able to shut them down by playing great defense.
“Alexander’s home run was big for us. That was a huge hit and he’s the leader [on offense].”